The Reaper
The Reaper

The Reaper

Author: Ruseckas Kanutas, 1800 - 1860

Created: around 1844.

Material / technique: oil on canvas.

Dimensions: 51x39 cm.

The harvester or reaper, frozen in a graceful pose, looks rather like a ballet dancer. This attitude towards a young Lithuanian country girl was undoubtedly encouraged by Kanuty Rusiecki’s (1800–1860) impressions and experiences from his Italian period (1822–1831/32). This picture is considered a classic piece of the Lithuanian artistic heritage. The version in the collection of the Lithuanian Art Museum is particularly famous. It has been reproduced many times, and circulated in the form of postcards and postage stamps, and at the end of the 20th century it was even reproduced on a box of Pergalė chocolates, thus becoming part of the popular consumer culture. The picture was also admired and valued by the artist’s contemporaries: there are several versions of The reaper in museums and private collections. There is a sepia sketch of the picture, dated 1841, in the Lithuanian Art Museum. Another sketch, Four reapers, dated by Vladas Drėma to 1844, can be found in folio No 30 of Ruseckas’ drawings of views around Pinsk, and is now held in the Vrublevskis Library of the Academy of Sciences. Another famous composition by Ruseckas, Lithuanian girl with palms (1847), in the romantic ethnographic style, resembles The reaper in all respects. The much later Fisherwoman (1856) has features of The reaper too. These two pictures are also in the collection of the Lithuanian Art Museum.

Reference: "More Than Just Beauty. The Image of Woman in the LAWIN collection." Compiled by G. Jankevičiūtė. Vilnius, LAWIN, 2012, P. 204.

Exhibitions: “More Than Just Beauty: The Image of Woman in the LAWIN collection”, 12 October – 11 November 2012, National Gallery of Art; Vilnius  Exhibition of the Fine Arts Collection of Edmundas Armoška "Outcrops of Lithuanian Art 16th–21th Centuries" 2008 July 3 - August 31, Lithuanian Art Museum, Vilnius.

Published: "More Than Just Beauty. The Image of Woman in the LAWIN collection". Compiled by G. Jankevičiūtė. Vilnius, LAWIN, 2012, P. 204; "The Lithuanian art collection of Jaunius Gumbis". Museum and Collector - 6. Vilnius: National Museum of Lithuania, 2016, P. 9.